“I think many of us doubt Scripture simply because we haven’t done it.” – Mark Batterson
I came across this quote yesterday in Batterson‘s new book, Primal, and it made me think about whether I’m “doing” the Bible very well and how the church is doing in living out our faith. Too often, I think we measure faith by attendance frequency and coloring inside the lines – But the Bible has a whole lot more to say than “Be good and go to church.”
My faith isn’t measured by how many verses I can find faster than the next guy or my perfect attendance on Sundays (especially since that’s pretty much a job requirement anyway). My faith is measured by the impact it has in the world around me. It’s measured by how well I’m doing what Scripture says.
Last week a lady measured my faith by the fact that she didn’t have to sleep outside in the cold… She called at about the single most inconvenient time in the week for me. It was Wednesday night about 5:30 or so – students coming at 7:00, music team coming in half an hour, lots of last minute things to get ready. But the phone rang, and I was the only one in the building, so I answered. For the next 25 minutes, I went through every option I could think of to steer this lady to someone else who could help her. “This place won’t let me stay there because I’m not abused – this place won’t let me stay there because I’m not bipolar – they won’t help because I’m not just passing through…” On and on it went. She had sought solutions and found lots of closed doors, sending her back out into all 10 degrees. The desperation on the other end of the line didn’t need me to go to church on Sunday – didn’t need me to stand up and recite Psalm 23 – She needed me to take seriously what Jesus said in Mt. 25. She needed me to DO what Jesus says, not just read it.
As we talked I kept thinking about all the other things I had to get done in the next hour… but then the voice of Jesus broke through the clutter in my head and asked me “What good is it going to do to wish her well and send her on her way?” Then his brother James was a little more blunt: “Don’t merely listen to the word… Do what it says.” How could I stand in front of a group of students and worship and teach them how to help a friend in need (which was ironically the topic that night) if I just hung up the phone and did nothing? I couldn’t. So I grabbed the first kid that showed up and we went on a little ride to find a total stranger and take her someplace warm and dry.
We grow in our understanding of Scripture only when we do what it says.
What are you doing today?